From One To Two


My son, Xander, was just about to turn two years old when I found out I was pregnant again. It was planned, as much as anything in life is. John and I had always wanted to have more than one child; we wanted Xander to have a sibling. Yet, as soon as I saw the second line on the test show up, I wondered what on earth I had done.

I’m sure many of you know how it feels: your first baby has your undivided attention. One little squawk and you’re in his room, swooping him out of that mean and scary crib and into your arms. You sit on the floor for hours while she bats her tiny fists as the dangling monkey from her play gym. You change his diaper as soon as it’s damp.

I began to worry right away (it’s what we do, isn’t it?) about how this would effect Xander. Would he feel left out? Would he feel ignored? Would he be jealous, or mad? Would he like the new baby?And what about me? Would I have time to make sure he felt secure? Would I still get to read his bedtime stories at night? Would I have enough of ME to go around?

One to Two 1(When it was just the two of us)


Well, even before Luna was born I quickly learned that the answer to that last question is “no.”  Homemade chicken and vegetable meatballs turned into frozen nuggets and apple slices because pregnancy hormones meant I couldn’t stand the smell of food. I fell asleep while John gave him his bath. I couldn’t carry him as often as he liked. We still had fun, though. We went to farms and parks and played cars, just like before.  Instead of holding him I snuggled him on the couch.

Then Luna came, and everything changed again. For all of us. Yes, Xander acted out some, but he is also a toddler and sometimes they act out because it’s Tuesday. The first few days I stressed about being enough, doing enough, for both of them. I felt guilty about using the TV to entertain him while I nursed her. I fretted about giving him prepackaged fruit snacks instead of a wholesome homemade snack. I worried about him resenting his sister for the amount of time I had to spend taking care of her.

BUT! This is what we do. We adapt, and we do the best we can. And our best is always good enough for our kids. Whatever we can give them is enough. I may turn the TV on if I have to nurse Luna, but Xander still gets plenty of play time. I may let him eat a cereal bar for breakfast, but we (mostly) manage to eat dinners together.

And as for him resenting his sister? Well, the other day I was kissing Luna’s ample cheeks and I teased “I could just eat you up,” and Big Brother Xander came tearing across the room with his brow furrowed. “No, mama!” he exclaimed. “No eat Baby Luna!”


One to Two 2(All that worrying, and he can’t get enough of her.)

So, maybe I got the hang of this two kid thing, after all. Isn’t is amazing how often as mothers we worry and put pressure on ourselves over things we can’t control, only to find out that there was nothing to worry about in the first place?

Those of you with two kids, did you find the change easier or harder than you expected?


  1. You’re doing an amazing job with the two of them. I’m awed by those of you with more than one, and completely convinced of the wisdom of the universe that only gave me one child. As a mom with only one, I battle similar issues and guilt with trying to make sure Bailey gets all the attention/love/nutrition/discipline she needs; in my situation, though, the competing factor is my commute or the work project I can’t quit thinking about or the fact that I’m just too damn tired to cook. I’ve always heard that mamas are great with the guilt….guess it’s just because we have so much to share!!!!! 🙂

  2. Love this Emily! Some of these same questions and worries have been running through my head these past few weeks as I get closer and closer to Maggie’s arrival. So reassuring to hear from another momma who has made it through!

    • Yes, it IS hard, no doubt about it, but it’s not IMPOSSIBLE. The most important thing I remind myself of daily is that everyone needs a little more patience and grace – the toddler the baby, and the parents. (And the dog, of course.)


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